Pack Goat Play Structure
Building a pack goat play structure for your pack goats will be one of the best things you do to improve your string. Not only is it a training tool but it’s fun for them and will be one step to helping them be in a little better shape when they aren’t on the trail.
I have bit my nails more than once knowing, if one of my goats fell, they would die…not get hurt, but die. I try to keep them out of those situations on the trail, but…they are goats and they have a God given drive to push to a higher elevation. Building a play structure for them in their pasture is a key, in my opinion, to help them keep and develop the agility they will need for the back country. Remember, rocks are easy for a goat…it’s logs and dead fall that are really hard on them…so use logs rather than rocks. Some rocks…ok, but stick with logs and stumps or wood in general.
My playground at home has many “non lethal” pit falls so they get to learn without death or a broken leg as a consequence. The result is it becomes something they play on and learn all the limits so when they are in a dangerous situation, they can slow down (which they do) and take their time when the stakes are higher with already developed skills. If money and time were no object, I would have a hay-day building them something super cool but with no “lethal” consequences. Also, falls are almost never from one goat doing his thing…it’s almost always someone else pushing someone else around…that’s what scares me the most. The following bullet points are things I’d consider when building them a play structure.
-Pack goats want to bed up high, so make attractive “high points” that will allow for them to lay down.
-Build bridges where they have to “tight rope” as they will need those skills on the trail.
-Use large slick (no bark) logs in your structure so they are forced to deal with the slippy nature of deadfall which they will see on the trail quite often.
-Give them some things to jump over in the structure as well as things to duck under.
-Lastly give them things to jump from one elevated structure to another.
I hope this is helpful. Also, here is a video I did on the same stuff.
Blessings – Marc Warnke